Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Eye! Eye!

Cunning!Ask almost any Chinese person what inventions China is famous for, and they will dutifully list the famous four: gunpowder, paper, printing and the magnetic compass. Ask them for anything they have invented in the last 500 years and they look at you blankly.

But they are too modest. They have invented one of the cleverest things I have ever seen.

I am a bit on the blind-as-a-bat side and therefore need optical assistance from time to time. When it is time for a fine tuning, I drag myself off to the local spectacle emporium and get myself checked out.

The first time I went, I was a little nervous, wondering how I would be able to read the eyechart. My Chinese reading still isn’t great – at that time it was confined to making sure I didn’t embarrass anyone by using the wrong branch of the public conveniences. But the ever inventive Chinese have invented an eye chart for the illiterate! Still, I got off to a bad start, reading the “letters” as E, M, W and the other one! Instead, all I had to do was point which way the prongs were pointing.

So, I started to think, how do illiterate people get their eyes checked out in the West? If anyone illiterate is reading this, please let me know!

. This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 at 4:01 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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